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Early French wine harvest suffers from lack of workers

Staff Writer | August 20, 2018
Due to the hot summer, harvests have come early to vineyards in 2018, with the local vineyard association l’Association des Viticulteurs d’Alsace (AVA) specifying the starting date for its region as August 20.
French wine harvest
France   Harvests usually take around six weeks in total
Harvests usually take around six weeks in total, requiring a large team of seasonal workers to pitch in temporarily to help complete the job, The Connexion reported.

The early season this year - due in part to the hot summer - means that the harvest will take place while many people are still on holiday or finishing up other summer work.

As a result, some winemakers have reported finding it difficult to recruit enough workers in time.

Since 1995, government unemployment service Pôle Emploi has laid on “Alsace Vendanges”, a special department dedicated to helping winemakers find willing workers ahead of harvest season.

This year, the number of winemakers calling on the service - usually intended as a last resort - has risen significantly compared to 2017, with over 200 enquiries recorded so far.